Beaverhill Natural Area is about 10 kilometres east of Tofield, and provides an excellent opportunity to view many hundreds of migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, as well as songbirds and hawks, each spring and autumn. The best access to Beaverhill Lake is from the south at Francis Point or from the east at Mundare beach.
This Natural area is fairly small in size, comprising part of the shore of Beaverhill Lake and the Dekker and Pelican Islands. It helps to protect one of Alberta's most renowned resting areas for migratory birds. The extensive shoreline and variety of marshes, fields and aspen woods adjoining the large lake provide a wide diversity of habitats.
Beaverhill Lake has attracted bird enthusiasts to its shores for many years. In 1984, a group of birders began what is now officially named the Beaverhill Bird Observatory. This group is dedicated to promoting public interest in birds, and their activities include banding birds, counting birds, setting up nest boxes for a variety of species, undertaking detailed research on bird behaviour and habitat needs and acting as Volunteer Steward.
The Beaverhill Natural Area benefits from the interest of a number of parties. Cooperation among local land owners, the Beaverhill Bird Observatory, Ducks Unlimited and Alberta Forestry, Lands and Wildlife have both served to protect this site as an internationally renowned location for bird watching.
If you visit Beaverhill, please ensure that your activities do not disturb the wildlife or damage any of the natural features of the site.
For more information on this wonderful natural site, check out Alberta Environment's online Alberta Wildlife Viewing Guide, Beaverhill Natural Area!
Beehive Natural Area, while only about 100 kilometres southwest of Calgary, is a jewel of wilderness landscape. This site is bordered on the west by the Continental Divide and on the east by the upper reaches of the Oldman River.
From the alluvial plains of the Oldman River, to the heights of Mounts Beehive and Lyall, there is a great diversity of habitats. Alpine tundra, cliffs and rockslides provide a backdrop for extensive old-growth spruce-fir forests. These forests may be over 1000 years old, with some trees in them as old as 300 years. Lodgepole pine forest, grassland and moist herb meadows are some of the other habitats. Rare plant species have been found in a number of locations.
The old-growth forests in Beehive provide excellent habitat for woodpeckers, warblers, pine marten and fisher. Grizzly and black bear, mule deer and Rocky Mountain goat have been seen here while Elk summer range and bighorn sheep lambing sites are within the Natural Area as well.
Backcountry recreation activities such as hiking, fishing, and cross-country skiing can be undertaken in the Natural Area. The site's rugged terrain and remote location necessitate that care be exercised when visiting. However, if you decide to venture out to Beehive, you should be prepared for changeable mountain weather conditions!
Beehive Natural Area protects an important part of Alberta's wilderness. Please ensure that your use of the site reflects a respect for the landscape and wildlife and does not damage any of the natural features.
For more information on the Beehive Natural Area see Alberta Environment's online Alberta Wildlife Viewing Guide.